Broadstripe Gets Its GEPON On

12:50 PM -- Broadstripe, an MSO that hopes to emerge from bankruptcy later this year, is broadening its business services play by deploying GEPON in a targeted fashion. (See Broadstripe Turns to Chapter 11 .)

Broadstripe (formerly known as Millennium Digital Media) has hooked up with Aurora Networks Inc. for the MSO's first GEPON deployment -- the Brooks Industrial Park in Marshall, Mich., which is about 40 miles away from Broadstripe's master headend for the region. (See Broadstripe Taps Aurora for GEPON.)

Customers there are upgrading from a T1 service, and the first on board are getting symmetrical speeds of 5 Mbit/s to 10 Mbit/s, although speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s are possible if customers need it, the companies say.

"We're hoping we can use this [GEPON technology] as a launching pad in our other regions. We look at [business service] opportunities with this solution in mind now," says Broadstripe regional VP and GM Dave Harwood. Before it added GEPON to its regimen, Broadstripe, which also serves portions of Oregon, Maryland, and Washington, has been limited to serving small- and mid-sized businesses with Docsis.

However, Broadstripe has been able to integrate its GEPON deployment with its Docsis backoffice software and provisioning system, notes John Dahlquist, Aurora's vice president of marketing

Although CableLabs has yet to issue any such specs, the possible follow-on to Docsis 3.0 could enable a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) architecture adapted to a Docsis management plane. (See A Decade of Docsis .)

In the meantime, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is working on an RF over Glass (RFOG) standard that enables MSOs to do FTTP while preserving the use of their headends, Docsis cable modems, and set-tops. However, several RFoG vendors, including Aurora, are ensuring that their gear can support PON extensions. (See RFoG Gets the Squeeze, Moto, Alloptic Tag-Team on RFoG , and RFOG Comes Rolling In .)

Dahlquist estimates that Aurora presently has about 17 RFoG sites underway by MSOs that are looking to use FTTP in "Greenfield" residential areas, to reach more rural customers, or for business services. The MSOs on that list already include Armstrong Cable and Bresnan Communications LLC .

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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